Don’t give up on America

Published 8:36 am Saturday, June 28, 2014

I read about an experiment in which four monkeys were placed in a room with a pole in the center.  At the top of the pole was a bunch of bananas.  As each monkey started to climb the pole to get to the bananas, he was showered with a blast of water.  Invariably, the monkey would slide down the pole without reaching the food supply at the top.  After a while all the monkeys gave up and quit trying to reach the bananas.

As the experiment continued, one of the original monkeys was removed and replaced by a new one.  As the enthusiastic new monkey went after the bananas, the three that had experienced the cold shower would pull him down.  New monkeys were rotated into the room and each time a new monkey went after the bananas, the ones that were already in the room would pull him down.  Ultimately, they all stopped going after the bananas, yet none of them knew why.

I expect the results of that experiment would have produced a much different conclusion if just one monkey had been determined to go after the bananas regardless of the blast of water or the discouragers who tried to pull him down.

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Determination, regardless of what the situation looks like or the adversity associated with it, goes a long way in overcoming insurmountable odds.

Our youngest granddaughter, Addyson, has a degree of determination that fascinates me.  Even when she was a toddler, if there was something she wanted to get her hands on, she would use every resource available to her to make it happen.  She will be four in a few weeks and her level of determination has not waned.

When she was just a little tot she was in the living room with me and the next thing I knew she was crawling across the room, headed toward the kitchen.  As things got too quiet, I got out of my recliner, stepped into the kitchen, and there she was—with the door wide open to the cabinet that Nana keeps her pots and pans in. The guilty little girl had her head inside the place that she had been so curious about.  Thankfully I came to the rescue before she made a mess.  With that kind of determination, I suppose that if  Addyson had replaced one of the monkeys in the experiment mentioned above, neither a blast of water nor the tugging of discouraged monkeys would have stopped her from getting the bananas at the top of the pole.  If possible, after getting to the bananas, she would have tried to tear the pole down to see what it was made of and maybe even caught a few of the monkeys to see what made them squeal!

As we approach another birthday of our great nation, let us all have a sincere determination to turn our nation back toward Godly truth and righteousness.  Yes, we have a lot of problems to contend with in America, but we cannot afford to be like the monkeys who not only gave up on achieving the goal before them but also hindered others from trying.  Instead, may we remember that God is able to change even the most dismal circumstances and He can use us as part of the solution.  As we do so, the words of Galatians 6:9 offer encouragement:  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”  (New International Version).